COVID-19 Testing – How and Where to get Tested in South Australia
There are currently around 90 COVID-19 testing facilities in South Australia, so if you are displaying even mild symptoms of COVID-19, the advice from SA Health is to be tested.
Updated Tuesday 10 May 2022
You should get a PCR test as soon as you develop any COVID-19 symptoms. This applies to all people, including close contacts.
COVID-19 symptoms include:
- fever (a temperature of 37.5˚C or higher) or chills
- loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- tiredness (fatigue)
- runny or blocked nose
- shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
- nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
- muscle or joint pain
- loss of appetite
If you are a close contact with no COVID-19 symptoms, you can also get a PCR test.
You must get a PCR test if you are directed to by SA Health or SA Police.
You must also get a PCR test if you have COVID-19 symptoms and test negative using a rapid antigen test to confirm your result.
Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency, such as having difficulty breathing or chest pain.
Severe illness and fatalities occur more often in people who are older, have chronic conditions (e.g. cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension) or are immunocompromised (e.g. cancer, renal disease). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may also be at increased risk.
If you are unsure whether you need to be tested or not, CLICK HERE FOR SA HEALTH UPDATED INFORMATION
If you meet the criteria for testing for COVID-19, there are around 90 centres that provide COVID-19 testing in South Australia. Some centres now require a booking and others are walk-in, but please note this can change at any time so it is best to check before attending. If you are unsure what to do, call the SA COVID Information Line on 1800 253 787.
There is a public Facebook group called SA COVID Testing Station Wait Times you may find helpful – members of the public comment their wait times regularly and answer questions. This is not an official government page.
The official SA Health Facebook page also updates wait times each day as well as announcing the opening and closing of testing clinics.
WHERE TO GET TESTED: Find a COVID-19 Testing Centre
Respiratory Clinics (no referral required, bookings essential)
Respiratory clinics do not test people without symptoms (e.g. people arrived from interstate with no symptoms who are required to get tested). Covered by Medicare, all ages, bookings essential.
- The FMC COVID-19 testing clinic has now become the Bedford Park (Sturt-Laffer) COVID-19 drive-through testing site.
- Royal Adelaide Hospital (people aged 18+)
Drive-through Testing Stations
Online bookings for COVID-19 tests are available at selected drive-through testing sites, to reduce your waiting time. Find your nearest testing site using the clinic finder above, or, contact SA Pathology, Clinpath or Australian Clinical Labs directly.
LIVE WEBCAM OF VICTORIA PARK
CLICK HERE to view the live camera showing the queue for the Victoria Park/Pakapakanthi COVID-19 drive-through testing site.
General Practitioner (GP)
Contact your GP about getting tested for COVID-19. If you qualify for a test your GP may test you in their clinic, they may come outside to take a swab test while you remain in your car, or they may provide you with a referral to attend a drive-through testing clinic.
SA Pathology and Clinpath offer dedicated metropolitan services to take COVID-19 tests within a person’s home. Some regional home-based testing services are also available. Patients need a referral from their GP to access home testing services.
Rapid Antigen Testing
In South Australia, rapid antigen tests are now used as a test to diagnose COVID-19. This means that if you test positive using a rapid antigen test, your result does not need to be confirmed with a PCR test.
You must report a positive rapid antigen test result within 24 hours. Reporting your rapid antigen test result assists with providing an understanding of cases in the community and also helps you to identify if you are eligible for COVID-19 treatments.
If you are a close contact with no COVID-19 symptoms, you can access free rapid antigen tests from RAT Collection Points across the state. You must register before collecting your kits from the RAT Collection Point
You can also purchase and use rapid antigen tests:
- before entering a high risk setting, e.g. healthcare or aged care
- before going out where there may be crowds
- before going to work, especially if it is a critical worksite
- to provide reassurance if you have no symptoms but are feeling anxious or worried.
RAT (Rapid Antigen Tests) are available for purchase from most chemists, supermarkets and some petrol outlets.
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Testing
If you would like to know more about COVID-19, or feel that you have some symptoms, please call your local SA Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (PDF 696KB).
What To Do After Your Test
After your test, go straight home and self-isolate while you wait for your test result (which you should usually get within 2 days) and:
- stay at home and do not attend work, school or childcare
- wash your hands often with soap and water
- cough and sneeze into a clean tissue or your elbow
- avoid close contact with others, including members of your household.
If you have a Negative Test Result
It is important that you follow medical advice from SA Health. If you receive a negative test result, you should still stay at home and not attend work, school or childcare until you are feeling well again.
If you have a Positive Test Result
If you have received a positive result for COVID-19, visit the Information about a positive result for COVID-19 page for information about what to do.
Cost of COVID-19 Tests
There is currently no cost to Medicare eligible patients for COVID-19 testing if you are tested at SA Health or Primary Health Network (PHN) facilities.
Private providers may charge a gap for COVID-19 testing.
Overseas residents who fall ill in Australia (and are not eligible for Medicare) often have health or travel insurance. For those who do not have adequate insurance coverage, SA Health hospitals and COVID-19 testing centres will waive the costs of diagnosis (tests) and treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Advice from SA Health
We all have a part to play in reducing the risk of getting sick and stopping the spread of infections:
- If you have symptoms, even if mild, get tested immediately.
- Stay home while you wait for your results.
- Avoid contact with others if you are sick.
- Keep at least 1.5 metres away from others wherever possible
- Wash hands regularly, particularly after going to the toilet, blowing your nose or handling used tissues. Carry hand sanitiser everywhere you go and use it regularly.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, or handling food, until you have washed your hands.
- Wipe down frequently touched surfaces.
- Use COVID Safe Check-In at businesses, events and venues.
- Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080
- Australian Government Department of Health website
- SA Health website
- Smart traveller website
- SA Health Facebook Page
- Health Direct website
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Source: SA Health
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